2020 Buying Guide: 4 Best RV Exterior Water Filters


RV water filtration systems eliminate contaminants such as bacteria and sediments from the water being pumped into the RV plumbing system. 

Filtering is crucial to ensure that you don’t get nasty surprises in the form of nasty tap water or murky showers. It is also to prevent damage to the vehicle’s plumbing. Filtered water also reduces chlorine from tap water, improving the taste of the water and making it safe to drink and cook with.

 

There is a wide array of external RV water filters on the market. This guide will discuss the best four filters to consider buying right now.

The AquaCrest inline water filter is a multipurpose filter designed for external use. It filters by passing the water through a porous shell with 5-micron diameter openings. 

The filtered water from the shell then moves through a Kinetic Degradation Fluxion Redox (KDF) bed. This bed is made of a copper-zinc alloy.

It finally passes through Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) for more filtering and microbe control.

The end result is water free from sediment, bacteria, and bad odor, and with reduced chlorine levels. 

Key Features

  • The versatile AquaCrest is compatible with the Camco TastePURE water filters series and the Waterdrop WD series
  • Advanced KDF, GAC, and fluoride removal technology to filter heavy metals, rust, fluoride, and bacterial contaminants
  • Multiple-use filter. Other than RVs, you can use it for gardens, campers, boats, spas, and pet drinking water
  • It filters particles larger than 20 microns
  • It uses ¾-inch garden hose thread
  • The filters last for three months, which is the average length of the camping season
  • The fluoride removal function specifically targets harmful levels of fluoride in the water

The Good

  • This is an inexpensive water filter
  • It is easy to install
  • The water filtered is safe for drinking
  • Removes odor from the water effectively
  • Seamlessly integrates with pressure washers

The Bad

  • Only lasts for three months

The fact that the AquaCrest filter needs to be replaced after three months of use tends to discourage people. However, for the price it is sold at, it delivers better results than most water filters that cost more. 

The fluoride filter ensures that your digestive tract, teeth, and bones are protected. Plus, once it is safe to drink tap water, pollution from discarded water bottles goes down. 

This water filter is worthy of its high place in both the household and RV camping trips. It works well with household machines delivering safe water.

Key Features

  • Flexible hose protector
  • Threaded garden hose compatible ¾-inch pipes
  • Sediment filter of 20 microns
  • Triple-filtering action with KDF, advanced GAC, and fluoride remover
  • Food-grade plastic casing
  • Multiple-use once it is connected to a regular water hose
  • Product dimensions are 11.2 × 5.3 × 3.3 inches
  • Weight is 2.13 lbs (0.97 kg)
  • Works well with a pressure washer
  • Certified by NSF International for compliance with NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for the reduction of odor, taste, and chlorine

This filter is compatible with the following filters:

  • RV KDF Water Filter
  • 40013, 40042, 40043, 40044, and 40045 KDF Water Filter

The Good

  • The flexibility of the hose thread facilitates the unhindered flow of water by removing kinks
  • Water from the inlet goes through the triple filtering process of KDF, GAC, and fluoride removal. After that, the water is safe for drinking
  • Gets rid of odor, heavy metals, and arsenic, and reduces chlorine and fluoride levels
  • The plastic casing is very strong and burst-proof
  • Multiple-use filter

The Bad

  • The flexible hose may leak at the connection point

AQUA CREST RV Inline Water Filter saves households money by reducing the spending on bottled drinking water. With an NSF International certification, you can trust this product to deliver what it says it will.

There is hope if your tap water has been rendered undrinkable by excess chlorination. The Waterdrop RV & Marine Inline water filter was designed specifically to improve the content of tap water and make it safe for consumption.

Key Features

  • Product dimensions are 11.2 × 5.2 × 3.3 inches
  • Weighs 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • Multi-stage filtration technique using KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) and advanced GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) technique

The filter is compatible with the following:

  • Camco RV KDF water filter
  • Camco 40042 KDF water filter

The Good

  • Lasts for the entire camping season, which means guaranteed safe water for three months
  • The multi-stage filtration with KDF and GAC means a superb performance in getting rid of odor, heavy metals, fluoride, arsenic, and other harmful pollutants
  • The Waterdrop filters are multipurpose. It is compatible with the standard water hose, so you can use the filtered water for anything
  • It is easy to connect to the water supply
  • The filter is made of safe materials that won’t leach contaminants back into the water
  • It is inexpensive but with excellent performance

The Bad

  • The filter has to be changed after three months of use

Flush the filter when you are using it for the first time. There is a lot of charcoal dust that comes out of the filter at this point. 

 

Use the Waterdrop RV and Marine inline water filter to provide safe water for camping, home brewing, gardening, irrigation farming, washing cars, filling pools, boats, drinking water for pets, trailers, and anything else that requires quality water!

The Watts 520022 exterior filter is manufactured by the long-standing Watts Water Technologies Inc. The company was established in 1874, and it still manufactures plumbing solutions that improve the quality of water.

Key Features

  • The filter is lightweight at only 6.8 lbs (3.08 kg)
  • Product dimensions are 11 × 6 × 14.5 inches
  • Garden hose fittings
  • Bacteriostatic media does not allow bacteria that are filtered to multiply
  • Removes parasitic cysts

The Good

  • The garden hose fittings are really convenient for attaching to a water inlet for your boat or RV
  • It has been factory tested and proven to have a filtration rate of 99.9% for giardia and cryptosporidium cysts. Both are disease-causing parasites.
  • The 2.5 GPM water flow ensures it takes a shorter time to filter water to the RV storage units
  • The GAC gets rid of debris, excess chlorine, and odor. The taste of water improves as a result
  • Carbon filtration unit has a micron rating of 1
  • Bacteriostatic units which prevent the growth of bacteria
  • It comes pre-assembled

The Bad

  • The cost of this filtration unit is on the higher side
  • Some metallic filter components such as screws rust over time

Watts 520022’s superior performance makes it the best to use when you plan to take your family along with you. The fact that it can get rid of parasitic cysts and other dangerous pollutants ensures that nobody should suddenly fall sick from RV water.

How To Choose A Filtering System for Your RV

In order to be able to choose the right filtering system, you need to know how much water is enough for your needs.

If you choose to filter all the water that is coming into your RV storage tanks, the best filter to use would be the one that can be connected to a hose. That is to say, inline filtering units.

Inline units are small, with an average flow rate and relatively short lifespan. They work well for people who do not go out with their RVs frequently.

If you need a longer-lasting filter and higher flow rates for the RV, the canister system is an excellent alternative. For example, here’s the Watts 520022 RV/Boat Duo filter.

The cartridge system has three options: single, dual, and triple cartridges. Each cartridge can have a very specific filter that only does one task, such as sediment filtration.

The next cartridge’s sole focus would then be to remove odor and improve the taste of water. Three-cartridge filtering units have an additional phosphate cartridge. 

The system you choose for your RV is entirely dependent on your clean water needs. Even though filters work really well to provide safe water for use, it is advisable to only get your water from a known source.

 

Budget considerations for the RV filters are secondary, since you can get great filters at any price. For more information, you can find detailed explanations about RV filtering systems here.

RV Water Filter Systems FAQ

1. How frequently should I change the RV water filters?

At the very least, change your water filter when the odor and taste of the water are not as purified as they used to be. Other filters will have a reduced water flow when their effectiveness starts to decline.

However, manufacturers indicate how often the filters should be changed on the user manual. Three months is the average operating time for the simpler filters, and up to 12 months for the more sophisticated filters.

2. Can I filter hot water for my RV?

No, you should not try to filter hot water using the RV system. Most of these filters are designed to clean cold water only. 

Running hot water through the filtering system does the exact opposite of removing contaminants from the water. Heat reverses the process of chemical absorptions and releases pollutants back into the water.

3. Should I filter all the water in my RV or just the drinking water?

For the sake of your health, filter all the water that comes into your RV. This includes the water that goes into your shower, bathroom, and kitchen.

It may be acceptable to only filter the water that goes into the RV kitchen. But you will have to contend with odor and other quality issues from unfiltered bathroom water.

4. What are the different types of RV filtering systems?

There are three main filtration systems for recreational vehicles, each with different capabilities. The one you choose will depend on whether you want all the water coming into your RV filtered or just water at specific outlets.

That said, the three filtering systems are:

  • Inline filters
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Compact canisters

5. How should I install my RV water filter?

Installing the filter is a straightforward process. They should fit into the external water hose that leads water into the vehicle. Others fit right under your sink. 

It is safer to follow the product’s installation manual or call a plumber when you are having doubts.

6. How should I deal with hard water in my RV system?

This is a common problem for RV owners. To reduce the damage by hard water in your vehicle’s plumbing, invest in a water softener. The best one would be the one that works through ion exchange.

Conclusion

RV water systems are convenient and economical to use. 

Once you begin to filter your own water, you won’t need to buy gallons of clean water from stores. Even if you prefer drinking bottled water, a filter will still reduce your spending as filtered water is safe for kitchen and bathroom use. 

Bonus tip: Everything you need to know about RV water filtering systems

We hope this buying guide has helped you to identify the best exterior RV water filter that suits your budget and needs. Have a happy camping trip!

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